Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Introducing "Trig"

You know where you are with a series, sort of. Starting to read Poul Anderson's Murder In Black Letter, I know in advance that it is the second of three mystery novels about the detective, Trygve Yamamura, and that I have already read the first and third installments. Thus, I do not expect any surprises. Yamamura will solve a murder. He will not marry, age, retire, die or experience any major life change. All of these things can happen to a continuing character and his series becomes more interesting when they do but they are not going to happen here. It is like watching an episode of a TV series.

I am reading the novel as an ebook and must continually alternate my screen between the text and the blog. That makes this a different kind of experience, visually. The text does not begin with Yamamura as its viewpoint character. The point-of-view character, Kintyre, is fencing with a man of whom we quickly learn that:

his surname is "Yamamura";
he is a private detective;
Kintyre addresses him as "Trig";
his first name is "Trygve";
he is tall, thin and of partly Oriental ancestry;
he prefers Japanese swords;
he smokes a pipe;
he has recently left the Berkeley police force to start his agency.

We stay with Kintyre when he and Yamamura part company but obviously more is going to happen.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think you meant to say in the first paragraph that you had already read the first and THIRD of the Yamamura novels.

And I think one reason why we don't see many major life changes in the Yamamura novels is because Poul Anderson wrote only three books about that character. I think you need a longer series before an author might feel compelled, for realism's sake, to bring in major personal changes in the life of a series character.

Started writing an essay about Anderson's "Night Piece." No promises on when I can send it to you. It's going to be one of my tougher, and probably less satisfactory, articles.


Paul Shackley said...

I will be very interested to read an analysis/assessment/appreciation/appraisal/elucidation/explanation//interpretation etc of "Night Piece."

S.M. Stirling said...

I think the Yamamura stories cover about 2 years at most.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'll try. I've written eight paragraphs so far. Can't say I'm totally satisfied with what I've done so far. It's very much a rough first draft, so far.